A common conundrum for customers when considering French doors for their property is whether to have them open inwards or outwards and the impact their decision might have on the current design of their home. It is possible for us to design, manufacture and install French doors to open in or out, but not both. It may be something that may not have even crossed your mind until now, but it is an important decision to make before purchasing your doors, and this blog looks at the reasons why.
Obviously, personal preference will play the biggest part in your decision, but it will also be dependent on the needs of your particular home and where you plan to install your French doors. Here are some points for you to ponder:
Consider your current door set up
Consider what you have already with your current door set up. For example, if you are not planning on replacing your door frame, you’ll probably need to select a door that swings in the same direction as your current one. If you decide to change the direction of door swing you may need to check local building regulations to check this is actually possible (if you own a listed building, you may even need to request permission to do this). Weighing up what you are able to achieve within your budget, is a great starting point.
Work with your space and home layout
Space and layout is important to think carefully about when installing interior French doors. You’ll need to think about what’s on either side of your doors, and which side is more valuable to you regarding space. Doors with a hallway or high traffic area on one side of them, would probably be best opening inwards into the adjacent room to avoid opening the door onto someone else. For this reason, inward opening French doors are often best suited for rooms that you spend a lot of time in such as your living room of bedroom where there is less likely that someone will be standing near the door of the room someone is walking into.
However, this will obviously be dependent on your home layout and day-to-day living, every home will have different requirements. You need to consider whether you’ll be damaging furniture or whether your area is wide enough for the door to open fully without blocking a walkthrough area or another door, in the process.
Where possible, many customers decide to outswing exterior French doors in order to maximise internal floor space.
Will weather have impact?
There is a perception that exterior French doors opening outwards will be weakened during windy spells, prone to leaks and at risk of trapping you in after snowfall. Now, unless you live in a hurricane hotspot or an area that receives plentiful snow, you have nothing to worry about. All our French doors are made on site at our own UK based workshop, so we’re in complete control of quality. We use natural timber that is strong, resilient and beautiful and able to withstand adverse weather conditions without sustaining damage, leaving you free to swing our exterior French doors either way.
Will security be threatened?
There is some hearsay that outswing exterior doors are more susceptible to intruders but in our experience, security is not threatened by the swing it’s threatened by poor installation. Ensuring your doors are made and installed well is key to ensuring they are secure. Gaps between the door and the frame will make it easier for intruders to force the door open. As professional joiners, we will ensure your doors are measured and made with precision to make sure they are tight and stable with minimal space between the bottom of your doors and the threshold.
Glass panels and their ability to let in natural light, are one of the main reasons French doors are so appealing. Using toughened/double-glazed glass will ensure they will not become their biggest weakness. We can also install secure locking mechanisms to avoid them being pried open.
We offer various types of quality timber for French doors. We usually manufacture hardwood doors but there are many other options to choose from. The strength and durability of wood is often misunderstood but, we can ensure you, quality wood will protect your home from the elements and intruders and is a great investment.
If your French doors are in need of some TLC or you’re thinking of investing in them for the first time, give us a call on 01273 258985. We’d be happy to chat through your options.